“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’”
– Genesis 2:18
“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh” – Genesis 2:24
Throughout human history, in every civilization, lifelong partnerships between man and woman exist in some form or the other. But the Word of God reminds us that marriage is not just a mere human institution, but has its origins in God’s plan for creation. It is ordered towards the good of the spouses, procreation and the education of offspring.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you”
– Jeremiah 31:3
God’s love for his chosen people, Israel (and later his Church) is constantly likened in the Sacred Scripture to the love of a bridegroom for his bride, and Jesus Christ himself often referred to the coming of the New Jerusalem as the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb. It is through the lens of God’s love for us, we understand what is unconditional love, and how a true marriage is meant to be lived: freely, faithfully, fruitfully, and totally.
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God joined together, let no one separate.”
– Matthew 19:6
When two baptised Christians come together in holy matrimony, their marriage will always be considered a Sacrament: this means that their union is a real sign that points and expresses to the world the unconditional love of Christ to his people. In today’s secularised world where marriage is seen as a mere contract, Christian marriages offer a sign of hope, that lasting marriages and true love is possible when God is present.
“Finally all of you, have unity of spirit, empathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind”
– 1 Peter 3:8
The call for married people to love their spouses in a way that mirrors God’s unconditional love is not easy. Like any call to holiness and sainthood, it is a narrow path that sanctifies us, and pushes us to grow in heroic virtue. But the best part about this Sacrament of service, is that we aren’t alone in this journey. Just like Saints Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin who were canonized together, married couples have each other to encourage and support, to finally reach the finish line and to see Jesus face-to-face.